T-cells usually are activated in vivo when their T-cell receptor (TCR) recognizes their cognate antigen presented by an activated antigen-presenting cell.
However, T-cells with the ability to respond to cytokines like IL-12 and IL-18 independently of the TCR in an innate like manner can also be found across all the classic human T cell lineages.
MAIT cells and V2+ T-cells have been shown to correspond to the majority of innate like T cells among the CD8+ and TCR+ linages. According to our data however, only few of the CD4+ T-cells showing an innate like responsiveness express the TCRs characteristic for established innate-like T cell populations like V7.2 (MAIT, GEM) or V24 (iNKT).
As a DFG research fellow, I am currently using flow cytometry, microscopy and RNA sequencing to analyse innate like CD4s in human blood and gut tissue.
My goal is to define and characterise different subsets of innate like CD4s and elucidate their role health and during inflammatory bowel disease.